Located amidst the crown of flat mountains is the sacred Buddhist site of Mount Wutai or better known as Wutaishan in Chinese.
A host to 53 monasteries, it holds few of the most important monasteries of China and is “First among the four great mountains” in China. It was made a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2009.
Here are the must-visit places and unique attractions of Mount Wutai:
- Xiantong Temple
- Dailuo Ding
- Taiyuan Temple and Shuxiang Temple
- Nanchan Temple
Mount Wutai was the first mountain to be identified as sacred and was done with the help of a passage located in Avatamsaka Sūtra signifying the home of many bodhisattvas. It is also home to a few of the oldest buildings in China, going back to the era of the Tang Dynasty. The main hall of Nanchan Temple and the East Hall of Foguang Temple are very old and standing strong, also serving as a major tourist attraction.
The East Main Hall of Foguang Temple is adorned with life-sized clay sculptures representing ancient stories of Buddhism. The mountains and the temples go hand in hand, and so one cannot separate the two from the other. During the winters, the roofs covered with snow paths, lined by pine cones, willow trees, and firs turn the place surreal, so much so that it has been celebrated and cherished by Buddhist architecture.
The spectacular layout residing in Mount Wutai is a complex amalgamation of Buddhist architectures, Nepal’s idea of sacred mountains and Mongolian excellence. It is a one-stop destination to witness the richness of different cultures across borders.
Things to do at Mount Wutai and Touring Destinations
Situated amongst five different peaks, Mount Wutai serves as a perfect trekking trail for adventure lovers. The trek starts from Mount Wutai base-camp which is 60kms from the railway station. The trekking trail is of 55kms which is suggested to be completed in a clockwise manner by the Chinese tradition.
- Xiantong Temple:
Surrounded by the holy Mount Wutai, there are many temples in Taihuai Town, Xiantong Temple being the oldest. It was built in A.D. 68 and was the ancient temple for many royal families to come. To experience years of heritage, one must visit this temple.
- Dailuo Ding:
This one is a religious site and is considered to be one of the most visited tourist attractions. It’s a gem in the crown. It beholds five famous Ksitigarbha statues, aiding to religious pilgrims. The five mountains that surround this beautiful area are represented by these five statues. One can reach the top by various means.
- Taiyuan Temple and Shuxiang Temple:
Located close to Xiantong Temple are two other temples known for their religious temperaments.
- Nanchan Temple:
On the way to Taiyuan, 177kms south from Mount Wutai, Nanchan Temple is situated. It is home to the oldest timber architecture in China, beholds 70 bricks adorned with carvings, representing the rare art of the Tang Dynasty.
Various small restaurants offer buffet breakfast for ¥10. For a cheaper meal, you can opt for ¥2 yóutiáo and ¥3 dòuhuā. Their famous fried noodles and soup are pretty good and reasonable at ¥10. The regular rice dishes are ¥15-¥20 per serving. The local delicacy consists of a mushroom which comes in various options. For savoring the exquisite texture of mushrooms, it is suggested to eat at a restaurant that can cost up to ¥277. The monasteries also offer food free of cost to every pilgrim which is done according to certain rules. But be sure, the food is a must-try.
To experience a holy spree with a surreal scenic view, visit Mount Wutai and get your soul refreshed.